We have a third-party server backup tool running every 24 hours, which backs up everything (files and database in preparation for a bare-metal restore). After much investigation, it emerged that the tool used non
copy_only backups, thus destroying the log chain on both the system databases, and our own.
(I've been researching whether the system databases should be backed up, and the consensus is generally yes because of the data they hold concerning SQL Server in general (e.g. users, agent jobs, etc). This isn't so much about their contents, but what would happen if they were missing after a restore because of the situation I describe).
To stop this crime, I've disabled the tool performing database backups, so now it only does file backups (except the MDF/LDF files). I then have scheduled SQL Agent to run backups every hour and I then sent them to my private cloud.
In the event of complete server failure, and a bare metal backup was required, I expect that the databases wouldn't be there when SQL started back up, as they weren't backed up/restored by the tool (although I have them safely backed up).
What actually happens at this point? Does SQL Server re-create the system databases, which I then can restore over? Or, does it just refuse to start up and I'm heading for trouble?